Murder of 9-year-old shocks country
The rape and murder of 9-year-old Jakub Šimánek from Havlíčkův Brod has shocked the nation, leading to questions why more wasn’t done to keep track of the suspect - a repeat sex offender from neighbouring Slovakia. The Slovak national spent years in detention and upon release was ordered to undergo outpatient treatment. The fact that he didn’t should have set the alarm bells ringing.
What is the dominant factor that led to the recent tragedy? Above all, that officials in neighbouring Slovakia failed to alert their international counterparts that Mr Novák’s whereabouts were unknown and that he was considered dangerous. Such mistakes can begin as easily as a psychiatrist failing to contact the courts or police when a patient ordered to undergo treatment fails to show up. Petr Weiss, a respected Czech sex therapist, says the problem is not in the system itself, but rather a lack of diligence on the part of doctors.
Unchecked, it was only a small step for Antonín Novák to travel undetected within Schengen, as well as to live in the Czech Republic under an assumed name. Dr Weiss and others say what would help prevent tragedies like Jakub’s is a register of sex offenders:
“We should have in the European Union a full register of sex offenders and police need to have access to the data. Maybe that would help. But as far as I know the Slovak police did not tell our own police that this man was punished for paedophilia in the past.”